Center of Pre-Health Professions

Pre-health is a career track at ACU and not a major. CPHP students are allowed to select any major on campus to earn a degree in while also working toward their professional goals in a health-service field. The most common majors pursued by our students are biology, biochemistry, kinesiology, nutrition and animal science.

Pre-health is a career track at ACU and not a major. CPHP students are allowed to select any major on campus to earn a degree in while also working toward their professional goals in a health-service field. The most common majors pursued by our students are biology, biochemistry, kinesiology, nutrition and animal science.

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About Kinesiology

The Kinesiology & Nutrition Department trains students to live healthful and physically active lives. Students pursuing ACU degrees in Kinesiology or Nutrition are equipped to enter careers or graduate school in the areas such as athletic training, human performance, wellness, health promotion, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sport and recreation management, dietetics, and nutrition. Develop your passion for kinesiology in CPHP.



ACU Master of Athletic Training


  • Students in the Kinesiology & Nutrition program participate in significant and often prestigious internships as a part of their preparation for Physical Therapy school, Occupational Therapy School or entrance into the Fitness Industry.
  • Nutrition students are given opportunities to engage in a variety of practicum that prepare them for entry into the nutrition profession. Observations in food service, hospital settings and many other venues are provided. Students in the NDPD concentration may apply for dietetic internships their last semester and may enter those positions post-graduation.
  • An internship experience is required by our KINE degree. The major and the advisor will work together to select a site which will best fit that student’s needs. Nutrition students may apply for dietetic internships across the nation during their last semester at ACU, and upon completion, may take the Registered Dietitian exam.
  • The Kinesiology & Nutrition Department offers many scholarships for majors every year. They are provided in honor of people who have been particularly influential in this department over the past several decades. Scholarships are offered to students of different classifications and are awarded based on different criteria for each.
Willie the Wildcat in the next lab

Course Prerequisites

  • Biological Sciences: 14 hrs (BIOL 355)
  • General Chemistry: 8 hrs (CHEM 131/133, CHEM 132/134)
  • Organic Chemistry: 8 hrs (CHEM 223/221, CHEM 324/322)
  • Biochemistry: 3 hrs (CHEM 453)
  • Physics: 8 hrs (PHYS 110/111, PHYS 112/113)
  • Statistics: 3 hrs ( BIOL 483 – recommended, MATH 123 or 377)
  • English: 6 hrs



The academic program is enhanced by access to facilities in the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center, where the department is housed. These facilities serve as both a laboratory for majors and a recreation/fitness facility for the entire campus. There are two classrooms in the Center in addition to five classrooms in the Gibson Health and Physical Education Center. The Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) is a resource for our majors to learn to analyze body composition, cardiovascular function, blood chemistry, respiratory function, muscular strength, and flexibility. These analyses are also available for faculty, staff, and students who wish to assess their personal health by using state-of-the-art technology, such as the BodPod and the new Parvo metabolic measurement system. Computer assisted nutritional analysis, stress profiles, and personal evaluations are available in the HPL. The Nutrition program has a food science laboratory in the Sherrod Building.

Accreditation Information


Graduates with the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition help others by living and teaching healthful nutrition practices and wellness lifestyles. Christian values and ethics are encouraged in any area of nutrition the student chooses. Students may declare Nutrition as a major with a concentration in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), Exercise Science, Community, or Food Service. Entry into the DPD requires a formal application process. Below are details concerning the concentrations in Nutrition.

In order to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN), students must successfully complete the BS in Nutrition from an ACEND accredited program with a DPD concentration. During the last year of undergraduate work, students apply for the dietetic internship(s) of their choice. (See more). These internships take 6-24 months, and often include the MS degree.

On your application, you need to show that you meet the GPA requirements and have significant leadership, volunteer and work experience in a nutrition-related field. Applicants apply for Dietetic Internships through a computer-based approach that which matches the preferences of applicants for Dietetic Internships (DIs) with the preferences of DI program directors. The DPD director assists all eligible applicants in preparing the application.  A verification statement will be provided to all students who are admitted into the DPD and successfully complete all requirements to graduate.

After successfully completing the Dietetic Internship, you are eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians, through the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR). In Texas and in many other states, the RDN credentials allow you to apply to practice as a licensed dietitian (LD).

For students who do not choose or are not accepted into a Dietetic Internship, they may apply to take the NDTR exam (through CDR) to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered. NDTRs work under the supervision of a registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) when in direct patient/client nutrition care in practice areas including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, retirement centers, and home-health programs. They also may be hired as independent practitioners in schools, day-care centers, health clubs, wellness centers, and food management companies.

DPD Mission, Goals, Outcomes
Criteria for Admittance into the DPD


Named and funded in honor of Guy “Coach” and Bess Scruggs, this scholarship is provided to outstanding majors after their freshman year.

Mr. Paschall’s son was a coach and died at a young age. The Paschall family provided this scholarship and asked that it be for young men, members of the Churches of Christ, who were intending to coach. This scholarship is provided after the student’s freshman year.

Named and funded by family and friends of Mr. and Mrs. R. L. (Johne) Roberts. Johne provided locker room supervision, leadership, and friendship to women dressing for our activity classes for over fifteen years. This scholarship is usually provided every other year to a female major after her freshman year.

Named and funded by the Abilene Women’s Bowling Association in honor of Helen Moran, a member of the AWBA and an ACU alumnus.  Scholarships are awarded based upon character, academic ability, and financial need.  Preference is given to female Physical Education, Business, or Bible majors.  This scholarship is usually provided following the female’s freshman year.

Named and funded by family, friends, and students of Dr. Marie Wilmeth. Dr. Wilmeth was a previous chairperson of ACU’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies. This scholarship is available for committed nutrition majors following the student’s freshman year.

Funded by the family of Leotta Zickefoose Frazier, the mother of Emeritus, Ben Zickefoose. This scholarship is set aside for those interested in special populations (senior adults, cardiac rehabilitation, and other special needs.

Funded by the family of career physical educator, Debi Zickefoose Allen, this scholarship is intended for students majoring in PETE.  To be eligible, students must be active members of the state organization, TAHPERD, and attend one or more state conventions.

Funded by the family of Trey Zickefoose, this scholarship is intended for non-traditional students with preference to military veterans or active duty.

Funded by the Ben Zickefoose family, this scholarship is for deserving students in the department who are classified at least a sophomore. Preference is given to Nutrition majors and single parents. Character, academic ability, and financial need are important considerations.

Funded in honor of former department chair, dean and provost, Dwain Hart, this scholarship is intended for entering freshmen who graduate from a Christian high school in the Texas Christian School Association. Dr. Hart was the very first department chair and served over 20 years in that capacity, before becoming Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Provost.